WordPress has released a new feature in 3.7 which provides the ability to roll out updates in background automatically. This would ensure that your WordPress site always has latest updates. Site administrator(s) won't need to keep track of all plugin and core updates and apply them manually.
By default, only maintenance and security patches(minor updates) are applied automatically. A cron job checks for new patches at regular interval and applies them when someone visits your website. Although, this is a great feature, you may not always want to roll out updates automatically as it introduces the risk that things may break, especially if you are a big website with a lot of plugins.
Thankfully, WordPress allows you to configure automatic updates. In this article, I will show you how to do so using wp-config.php.
How to disable Automatic Updates all-together in WordPress
To disabled all updates, core or otherwise, add the following line of code to wp-config.php:
define( 'AUTOMATIC_UPDATER_DISABLED', true );
How to disable Automatic Core Updates in WordPress
Adding following line in wp-config.php would allow you to disable automatic core updates:
define( 'WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE', false );
Similarly, you can allow only minor core updates to be applied automatically by setting WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE to minor:
define( 'WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE', 'minor' );
Finally, to allow all types of core updates to be applied automatically, you may add following line:
define( 'WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE', true );
Once set, you would never have to manually upgrade WordPress again! :)